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Trump tells tech leaders: 'There's nobody like you in the world'

Source: PTI
December 15, 2016 08:18 IST
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The US president-elect met Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives -- CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Elon Musk from Tesla, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Alphabet -- parent company of Google among others.

IMAGE: US President-elect Donald Trump speaks as PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel and Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook (extreme right) look on during a meeting with technology leaders at Trump Tower in New York. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

United States President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday met Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives, including Indian-American CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella, in a first high-profile summit with technology leaders with whom he was at odds throughout his campaign.

“I am here to help you folks do well,” Trump told the group of Silicon Valley CEOs during a meeting, which his spokesman said was one of the series of such meetings, at the TrumpTowers.

The purpose of the meeting, the transition team said in a readout, was to begin a conversation and partnership “in order to spark innovation and create more jobs” in the US, particularly for working Americans.

IMAGE: US Vice-President Mike Pence was also present at the meeting which also saw the participation of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

During the meeting, Trump expressed an open mind and willingness to listen, which was greatly received by the industry leaders in attendance.

“There is nobody like you in the world. There is nobody like the people in this room and anything we can do to help this go along, we will be there for you and you will call my people, you will call me, it does not make any difference, we have no formal chain of command around here,” Trump said.

He told the CEOs to reach out to him anytime they want.

“We are gonna do fair trade deals and make it a lot easier for you to trade across borders because of a lot of restrictions, a lot of problems and if you have any ideas on that that would be, that would be great because there are a lot of border restrictions and a lot of border problems, you probably have less of a problem than some companies. Some companies have massive problems. But we are going to solve those problems,” Trump said.

IMAGE: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures to members of the news media as he exits after meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

In addition to Nadella, other leaders who attended the meeting were Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Safra Catz of Oracle, Tim Cook of Apple, Alex Karp of Palantir, Brian Krzanich of Intel, Elon Musk from Tesla, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Alphabet -- parent company of Google, Chuck Robbins of Cisco, Ginni Rometty of IBM and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook.

During the Tech Summit, Trump and the CEOs discussed a wide range of issues including creating more jobs for Americans, eliminating barriers preventing US companies from doing business outside, America’s competitive trade dynamic and market access with China, cutting taxes, repatriation of American profits kept overseas by prohibitive tax rates, improving physical and digital infrastructures, and protecting intellectual property rights among others.

IMAGE: Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet Inc and Larry Page, CEO and Co-founder of Alphabet enter Trump Tower. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

They also discussed improving US’ cybersecurity, updating government software systems, technology in schools, the need for greater vocational education opportunities, reducing bureaucracy and introducing greater accountability in the government procurement process.

“The leaders in attendance also praised the ingenuity and energy of the American workforce, and President-elect Trump suggested reconvening the tech leaders again in the future, perhaps as frequently as every quarter,” the presidential transition team said.

In addition to Trump, other members present attendance Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Peter Thiel, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Wilbur Ross, Gary Cohn and Stephen Miller.

During the meeting, Trump discussed a wide range of issues impacting both American workers and American companies, including specific innovative solutions that have been blocked by narrow thinking in Washington, the transition team said.

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